Autumn in South Tyrol: Törggelen with wine, Speck and “Keschtn”

Törggelen - an old tradition from the Eisack Valley

The background of the word “Törggelen”

In earlier times a wooden wine press was used at the vineries to press out the juice of the grapes. Approximately 750 litres of must per 1000 kilograms of grapes could be made with such a press. These wooden wine presses were called “Torrgl”.

The word “Torrgl” in turn stems from the latin verb “torquere” which means “turn” or “writhe” and from its associated noun “torculum”, which means “press".

The origin of Törggelen

The custom of Törggelen has its origin in the Eisack Valley and is connected with the history of the so called “Buschenschenken” and dates back in the 15th century, when South Tyrol was ruled by the Habsburgs. Then the farmers were entitled to keep a part of the wine crop and to serve the wine (german: “ausschenken”) made from it by themselves. The sign for those farms was a bunch (german: “Buschen”) of sprigs hanging in front of the entrances.

The end of the harvest time in november was celebrated with festivities. And during this festivities the farmers of the “Buschenschenken” traditionally invited to come to the “Torrgl” to taste the new wine, called “Nuin”, and to have a “Marende”, which is South Tyrolean for snack. So people walked from “Torrgl” to “Torrgl” and this custom was called “Törggelen”.

Törggelen in Merano and South Tyrol

Autumnal vineyard along the Rablander Panormaweg in the vicinity of Merano.

Autumnal mood at the vineyards along the Rablander Panoramaweg in the vicinity of Merano.

Today this custom is common in whole South Tyrol. The best time for the Törggelen is October and November.

It is best to enjoy first the autumn sun and the colorful nature in fall by taking a walk or short hike along one of the Waalwege and hiking paths around Merano.

Then, in the late afternoon, stop for the Törggelen in one of the inns or “Buschenschenken” in the villages in the vicinity of Merano for a bite to eat and drink.

At the Törggelen also sweet grape must and “Sturm”, also called “Suser” (sweet must, which just started to ferment), is usually tasted beside the new wine. And together with the wine or sweet grape must South Tyrolean treats are served: roasted sweet chestnuts, called “Keschtn”, Vinschger bread, Speck, “Schlutzkrapfen”, “Tirtlen” and donuts.

Is there a better way to enjoy the autumn in South Tyrol and Merano?

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Shopping in Merano

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